When it comes to choosing a substrate for leopard geckos, there are lots of choices. If you go into a pet shop, then you will be inundated with options, and one that is often offered is calcium sand. However, is calcium sand good for leopard geckos? In this article, we will discuss why calcium sand is not good for leopard geckos, or other reptiles.
Why Calcium Sand for Leopard Geckos is Not Good
There are numerous reasons why calcium sand is not good for leopard geckos. It can’t be broken down in the digestion process and can cause irritation to the leopard gecko’s eyes and nostrils.
For instance, calcium sand is very dusty. This dust can get into the nose, mouth, ears, and eyes of the leopard gecko or other reptile. As a result, the leopard gecko can suffer from irritation which can reduce their appetite, not to mention that it can cause sores.
Another problem is digestion. The calcium dust can get stuck in the digestive system which can cause impaction. In addition, the calcium dust neutralises the stomach acid. As a result, the leopard gecko can’t digest their meals.
What are the Alternatives?
There are numerous alternatives to calcium sand for leopard geckos. We recommend that when you start to keep a leopard gecko you use a paper towel. This allows you to confirm that the leopard gecko is toileting properly. Normal toileting is a good way to identify that your leopard gecko is settling into their new home and eating properly.
Paper towel is also one of the best options for easy cleaning. It will help you get used to spot cleaning when you are new to leopard gecko keeping.
When you are confident your leopard gecko has settled in you can choose an alternative substrate, especially if you would like to achieve a more natural appearance in the vivarium. There are several good options, such as a sand/soil mix or a leopard gecko specific substrate, e.g. LeoLife.
Is Calcium Sand Good for any Reptile?
No, calcium sand is not good for any reptiles. It causes significant problems for them all. So whether you have bearded dragons, snakes, or leopard geckos – it is better to find alternatives to calcium sand.
If offered calcium sand for any reptile at a pet shop, it is best to politely decline. If you’ve recently bought it, you should seek a refund from the shop.
Final Word: Is Calcium Sand Good for Leopard Geckos?
No, there is no reason why you should use calcium sand for leopard geckos. There are lots of alternatives including paper towels, sand-soil mixture, and more.